The woman who builds a community of retailers around sustainable fashion and beauty brands
The global market for sustainable products is growing rapidly. Big brands have started to realize how important it is to manufacture in a sustainable way, using environmentally friendly materials and ethical processes. At the same time, an ever-growing list of young entrepreneurs, determined to stand out and make a difference, are starting small businesses, selling everything from cruelty-free beauty products to zero waste clothing. With so many brands, big and small, entering the space, it can sometimes be difficult to find and decide which one to support.
Enter ZERRIN, launched at the end of 2017 by Susannah Jaffer, installed here for nine years. Formerly a magazine editor, Jaffer disenchanted with her own profession and, fueled by a belief in sustainable fashion and retailing, launched ZERRIN, which is both a sustainable brands retailer and agency. creation that can help these brands market themselves better.
With the rise of conscious consumerism and Christmas just around the corner, I thought this was the perfect time to make contact with Susannah.
WHAT FIRST DID YOU TO SINGAPORE?
I moved to Singapore in 2012 – I was 21 at the time – with an offer to teach English at a language school. Unfortunately, the visa failed when I arrived. I was able to get a pass as a college graduate to work in Singapore for six months and ended up doing an internship in public relations, followed by a full-time role in magazines and media.
WHEN DID YOU BEGIN TO REALLY TAKE SUSTAINABILITY SERIOUSLY?
I think it happened through a cumulative awareness of how the industry actually works, coupled with a burning desire to participate in fashion in a more meaningful way; beyond pretension, beyond the “latest trends”. It was even more true at the end of 2015/2016 when I got the most tired of the typical mainstream brand narrative… and even the media.
I mostly learned about the impact of fashion and its complex supply chain thanks to the independent brands that I came to support. This led me to do more research which really lifted the veil for me on the impact of clothing production and consumption on the planet. For me, discovering better fashion, what sustainability is all about, has been a driver of mindfulness in my life, perhaps in the same way that yoga, meditation or veganism can be for someone. else.